Tater tot hot dish. Not casserole, mind you. Because a casserole is just a hot dish with attitude.
Tater tot hot dish is one of the best things ever. It is unquestionably delicious; as are tacos. Combine the two and you get a Midwexican fusion of awesomeness: a taco style tater tot hot dish.
It’s hearty. It’s got meat. It’s got potatoes (in tot form!). And it’s got mad flavor, you betcha.
And you’ll probably have leftovers (for the win!).
This is me on a plate. Everything I love about a familiar and comforting Midwestern dish punched up with south of the (Minnesota) border flavors.
Even those that sneer at the greatness of plain ‘ol tater tot hot dish (-1 friendship point) will find themselves enamored by this taco-inspired version.
Plus it’s easy to customize to suit your tastes/help you use up whatever’s in your refrigerator. I won’t be offended if you don’t follow my recipe exactly. Recipes are only guidelines after all.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 small to medium-sized onion (dealer’s choice), diced
- ½ green bell pepper, diced
- ⅔ cup beef stock
- 1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper
- 1 (15 ounce) can of corn, drained
- 1 (16 ounce) can of pinto or black beans, drained
- 1 (4 ounce) can of diced jalapenos (I like heat so I use the whole can, but feel free to use less, omit, or substitute with green chiles)
- 1 (15 ounce) jar salsa con queso (I used Tostitos)
- 1 (28) ounce package tater tots, extra crispy (you’ll have about 2 dozen or so leftover)
- *This recipe fits pretty perfectly in a 7x11 baking dish.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Seriously, don’t skip this step; no one likes soggy tots.
- Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add the ground beef to the skillet, using a spatula to break the meat apart. Cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is completely browned, which will take 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the skillet from heat and drain off any excess grease.
- Return the skillet to the stove top. Add diced onion and green bell pepper, taco seasoning mix, ancho chili powder, and beef stock. Simmer for 5 minutes, uncovered, or until the excess liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and add corn, jalapenos, (pinto or black) beans, and salsa con queso. Stir until well combined.
- Spray a 7x11 inch baking dish with cooking spray; you don’t want this deliciousness sticking to the dish instead of the inside of your belly.
- Pour the contents of the skillet into the greased baking dish and gently pat down into an even layer. Arrange the tater tots in a single layer on top.
- Bake, uncovered, on center rack for about 40 minutes, or until the tater tots are golden brown and crispy.
- My recommendation is to put a baking sheet under the pan, in case of boil over (as you can see, mine did).
- Remove from oven and let cool for at least 5 minutes before eating, or you’ll burn your face hole, don’t ‘cha know?
- I like to eat my Midwexican tater tot hot dish with all the fixings. Thinly sliced black olives, green onion, and jalapeno, as well as sour cream and maybe even some salsa or hot sauce if I’m feeling particularly zesty.